Monday, 27 November 2017

கடவுளே நீயே காப்பாற்று !! HR&CE removes idols from Temple in Cuddalore

கடவுளே உன் பக்தர்களை நீயே காப்பாற்றுவாயாக

Ever wondered why some temples have so many staff while some do not ? – ever cared to know – where would the money received by donations and offerings go ? – the only purpose of such donations is for the Temple, its upkeep and the traditions behind the temple – one would be stumped to know, that the money fills the coffers of the Govt – to be used in all and sundry schemes, totally unconnected, irrelevant and at times opposed to the very purpose of such donations, against Hinduism even.  Sounds melancholic !!

திருமயிலை கயீலேச்வரம் அற்புத தோற்றம்
Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of rich culture, traditions of literature, music, dance and above all religious faith.   Those famous kings of the land, built temples, maintained the existing ones which provided employment opportunities, promoted arts and culture, acted as granaries and primarily lent people the correct way of life.  Saiva & Srivaishnavism thrived in this land of Azhwargal and Nayamnars.  The big Temples possessing most beautiful idols of the Lord had thousands of believers praying all the time – temple management in the hands of Kings, Patrons, and locals – highly educated and firm in their belief.

The benevolent people have offered land, gold, cash, elephants, horses, cows, bulls and more to the temples and also instituted funds for their continued maintenance.  Over a period of time, from the donors the management passed on to Trustees, who were locally influential good people. Years later, the Govt stepped in (sadly only in respect of Hindu places of worship and not in any other religious places !)

A few decades ago, the State took  over the reins of the temple – now the  management and control of the temples and the administration of their endowments is stated to be the  primary responsibility of the State.  [does it fit in with the present secular credentials ?] Now there is Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, a Ministry, a Department, plethora of officials with associated materials including vehicles !!  ~ now read the following article that appeared in Indian Express of date  titled ‘Officials break open temple room, shift 26 idols’  and then read the concluding paras too.

HR&CE officials with the idols at Kasi Vishwanathar-Sivagamasundari Ambal Temple | Express

CUDDALORE: The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department recovered 26 panchaloha idols from a temple here on Saturday despite local resistance and shifted them to a safer place. The government has been taking steps to move centuries-old temple idols in unsafe conditions to bigger temples, where they could be well protected. This is part of a plan to protect idols from smugglers.

As the 300-year-old Kasi Vishwanathar-Sivagamasundari Ambal Temple in Cuddalore Old Town, which comes under the control of HR&CE Department, has 26 panchaloha idols, the department has been trying to move them to well protected places. But earlier attempts by the officials did not work due to a local conflict. On Saturday, HR&CE Assistant Commissioner Renugadevi went to the temple along with police to move idols to a well-protected temple. But the locals, who have been influencing the activities of the temple, opposed and refused to give the key to the room, where the idols were kept.

Subsequently, the officials broke open the room’s lock in the presence of Village Administrative Officer Thanigachalam. Police team headed by inspector Sundarrajan was also present. The officials shifted all the 26 panchaloha idols after performing poojas and other rituals. “There are around 3,000 idols in the temples in Cuddalore district. Among them, we have identified some of them to be in unsafe conditions and hence have been moving them to the idol protection centre at Padaleeshwarar temple in Cuddalore. We are doing this with police protection,” Renugadevi said.

“So far, 182 idols from 50 temples have been shifted. That apart, we have installed surveillance camera and alarm in 105 temples. We are going to instal cameras in 70 more temples,” she said.

Does that not sound an alarm ? ~ shifting of idols that too 182 from 50 temples -  it is not simply idols but God – the presiding deities of Temples.  Such temples had been constructed only for installation of the deity and people have worshipped there for ages – now the Officials who are to manage the affairs of temple are shifting idols to ‘safe places’ – does that mean keeping the Gods in safety vaults! – if a Temple is considered not so safe, safety measures including watchman facilities should be put in place – shifting is no solution.  The DEpt which thrives on revenues from Temples should understand its basic duty of protecting the places of worship.

Though collectively called ‘Hindu temples’ – there are different agamas and other relevant things for the believer – how can a God of a particular temple be kept in a safe iron room though located in another temple.  What will be the purpose of keeping the God, if there are no daily rituals and would there be any meaning in rituals together for different Gods.  How shambolic ? – what is the wisdom of such acts by HR&CE Officials .. .. .. and why are we silent to every atrocity committed on our religion and belief.

Some fool would come on media question the faith of people donating in Temple hundis without daring to comment the same on other religions, the collections of temple would be used for non-religious purposes, then Gods are also forcibly shifted out of the temple, built in olden days with purpose and where worship had taken place for hundreds of year .. so sad is the state of affairs ?  - who will save us from these people !!!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

How Hindu temples are managed ?!!?

How Hindu Temples are managed ? and how the common ordinary Baktha can only lament and do nothing about it ..
Here is an article of Firstpost reproduced in its entirety.  :  Head priest of Tirumala's Venkateshwara Temple is taking on the management and all knives are out  :  Nov, 21 2017 10:49:19 IST

What began as a clash between religious rites and the IAS management of the country’s richest temple, has now descended into mudslinging between the head priest and the officers in charge of administration. Dr AV Ramana Dikshitulu, head priest of the Vaishnavite temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala and one of the four agama advisors of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), is at loggerheads with the temple authorities and constantly in the news for his comments on the TTD administration and other controversies.

The latest row is over Dikshitulu taking his grandson into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple for which he was issued a show cause notice by the deputy executive officer of TTD, Kodandarama Rao. Dikshitulu did not bother with an official clarification, but asked Firstpostunofficially that when the relatives of TTD officials can go anywhere at any time, what is wrong with children of priests, who are also practicising archakas (priests), to visit the abode of Lord Venkateswara?

The priest is not in the good books of the TTD administrators, specifically three IAS officers — one executive officer (EO) and two joint executive officers (JEOs) — and three IPS officers. He has slammed the administration on issues like VIP darshans, shortening of rituals and alleged commercialisation of the temple. "None of them have respect for the traditions or practices as laid down by agamas (vedic scriptures defining traditions and rituals in the temple) and are making changes as per their whims and fancies to promote their personal influence," he told Firstpost.

In October, Dikshitulu told Firstpost, "Instead of being custodians they are using the temple of Lord Venkateswara to please industrialists, money bags, politicians in power and enhance their own personal power to beget better postings. But when an archaka offers blessings to these same people, he is blamed and reprimanded,” he said.

Dikshitulu was referring to an incident that took place on 10 April, 2010 when the head priest walked up to the Padmavati Guest House to offer ashir vachanam for industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The TTD had served him notice for violating temple norms in this instance. "If someone falls at my feet, I normally bless them. It is just like that for Ambani or anyone. There is nothing wrong in offering ashir vachanam for any devotee at any time or place," he said.

Dikshitulu also allegedly flew to Mumbai to bless the granddaughter of a politician and industrialist at her marriage. He allegedly performed sudarshana homam in Tirumala for the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) and his son Jaganmohan Reddy in 2009. He is also said to have made trips to Pulivendula and Hyderabad for YSR. "Why do they want the priests alone to be holier than Lord Venkateswara? Everyone mints money in the name of Balaji, but when a priest does something routine — blessing people, performing yagnas and homams for the pious, he is questioned and issued notices," he said.

 Administrators versus rituals :  Dikshitulu though is firing all guns right back. The 'vaikhasana agama' he explains, deals with rituals that are done in the temple and to the deity. Dikshitulu says that TTD officials "overdid" the rituals, their duration and also violated norms about the prescribed persons who should be present during the rituals. "Particularly for Friday abhishekham and ekantha seva, it is the wish of the officials that prevails and not the traditions," he charged, "During the last pavitrotsavams, officials went over to the vimanam (gopuram of temple) to offer puja, which is the domain of only priests, and committed sacrilege,” he added.

In view of his critical stand, Dikshitulu is often sidelined when it comes to decisions on temple duties as he has charged that officials are appointing ineligible priests to perform pavitrotsavams. Temple officials however say that they are working in adherence to agamacounseling by three other agama advisors as per section 34(3) of the TTD Act.

Dikshitulu’s charges are not entirely baseless. The JEO of TTD has the powers of a lieutenant-governor in granting shop leases, private hotels and guest houses in Tirumala and allegations of misuse of these powers abound. Incidentally, over 30 media personnel working in Tirumala and Tirupati have business interests — shops, choultries and eating joints near the temple. For example the special correspondent of a national daily is the owner of a sprawling private choulty at Tirumala. The present JEO has continued to remain in this position for seven years, despite the normal tenure being only three years.

Dikshitulu recounts how during the last Brahmotsvam, he had suggested that priests and not attendants must give harati during vahana sevas. "Devotees are put to distress and the entire show is conducted by attendants, instead of priests where the pious are pushed and heckled. Instead why doesn't TTD conduct sarkari harati at every point?" he asked. But the officials refused.
In October last year, the head priest received another jolt when the appointment of his son Venkatapathi Dikshitulu to serve on the suryaprabha vahanam during Brahmotsvam was nullified by the TTD officials. His outburst that TTD officials should not interfere in ritual affairs and that the authority of chief priest was ignored went unheeded. Dikshitulu sought the intervention of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

VIPs and Commercialising Tirumala:  The TTD is now entertaining Andhra Pradesh MLAs and MPs, sending their voters on a pilgrimage to Tirumala — with food, entertainment, travel and darshan, all free of cost. Every day at least 75 to 100 buses and trains bring about 10,000 devotees through these politicians, for whom rooms, darshan slots and laddus are reserved by TTD officials. "What is wrong in fulfilling a promise made to our voters of a Tirupati pilgrimage and also Sabarimala visit?" asked TDP MLA from Srikakulam and state minister Atcham Naidu.

The chief priest argued that rituals are cut short to make way for VIP visits. "Although they say only two hours for VIPs, almost four to five hours of valuable time is given to them both in the morning and evening to suit the convenience of the visitors — mostly politicians, relatives and friends of EOs and JEOs and influential judges, IAS and IAS officers," he said.

Dikshitulu said he was not opposed to making more laddus, and building rooms and guest houses, but that the officialdom should not interfere in traditions and rituals as prescribed in Vaikhanasa Agamas and Divya Prabhandas scripted by Sri Ramanuja and Alwars. Secondly, sanctity and holiness of the only Vaishnavite hub in the world should not be tarnished. More importantly, agama pundits and priests who for centuries have been custodians of the temple and its practices should have the final say in number of festivals and hours of darshan.
Dikshitulu, a doctorate holder in molecular biology as well as an authority on the agamas, is one of the four families of the Vaikhanasa sect of Sri Vaishnavites who are engaged in serving the Lord Venkateswara temple and other sub-temples in Tirupati and other select towns of Rayalaseema. His family has been serving as priests at the temple for over 600 years. All these were disbanded by former chief minister NT Rama Rao, who brought out a special legislation for nationalising the Tirumala shrine and all its assets and gold with the sole goal of utilising this revenue for his anti-poverty schemes.

After two decades mired in legal battles, the government has finally taken over the TTD which has over 10,000 permanent and 12,000 contract workers. Its net worth is over Rs 42,000 crore including gold, land assets and institutions. It also has Rs 13,000 crore in fixed deposits besides 8,500 kg of gold deposited in banks under various schemes.

Dikshilutu also mentioned that the Kala Jnanam predicted by Pothuluri Veera Brahmam, a sage of the 17th Century from Kadapa, that the happenings at Tirumala would soon take it back by 100 years, is coming true. "We are giving darshan to one lakh per day by giving only two hours rest for the deity, we spend more time on laddu making, cultural shows, expanding accommodation, conducting more than 10,000 weddings per annum at Tirumala. All these were predicted by Veerabrahmam in his Kala Jnanam and that all these could vanish soon," he warned.

The TTD’s Response:   When the issue was recently raised by the media as to why the TTD administration was silent over the charges by the chief priest, executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal and his assistant JEO (Tirumala) KS Srinivasa Raju sidestepped the query. "We are here to do a job, streamlining the administration, plug loopholes. We do not interfere in temple rituals, archakas’ appointments etc. But only when there is difference of opinion among the archaka community, we are drawn to interfere," said Raju. TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal stated that he did not have any differences with either Dikshitulu or other agama advisors. "As long as they stick to their functions and do not advise on how to run the temple, there are no issues," he said.

Former EO KV Ramanachari told Firstpost that the charges by Dikshitulu over the VIP darshans and other mismanagement were baseless. "We are bound by government decisions and also the decisions endorsed by the TTD governing body — the TTD Board. We cannot do anything — giving permissions, selling hair, deposit gold, approve government loans or even giving VIP darshan tickets on our own as there are set precedents on how many such permissions for VIP darshans one could give in a week or a month," he added.

tail piece :  if you had liked this and felt that the Officials are wrong ~ you will totally change your views if only you were to know something of HR&CE and the way temples are managed in Tamil Nadu. In the holy Thirumala, most money is spent on development activities and pilgrim amenities at Thirumala, way to Thirumala and elsewhere – in Tamil Nadu, the offerings of the bakthas – the believers,  generates crores of revenue for the Govt which unabashedly spends it on very purposes opposed to Hinduism and the purpose for which such donations were made !  Shame.. .. sad .. and … despicable …

Saturday, 16 September 2017

திருக்கோவில் சிலைகளை காப்பாற்ற தெரியலை ! உயர் அதிகாரிகளே உடந்தை

இதில் யாரெல்லாம் வெட்கி தலை குனிய வேண்டும் ?  என்ன தேசமிது ??  எங்கள் கிராமப்புறங்களிலே எல்லை காவல் தெய்வங்களும், கருப்பண்ண சாமியும், குற்றங்கள் நடைபெறாமல் காப்பார்கள் என்பது ஆழ்ந்த நம்பிக்கை. 

In the state of Tamil Nadu, Temples [and only Temples, no other places of worship] are administered by TN Government.  The money that the bakthas offer in the Temple hundi, does not belong to the Temple but to the Govt, which does not believe in Temples !!!

For many many decades now, the Hindu places of worship are administered through   Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department created by statue.  From 1991, no religious and spiritual leaders are involved in maintenance and administration of the Hindu Temples and Charitable Endowments. The act controls 36,425 temples, 56 mutts or religious orders (and 47 temples belonging to mutts), 1,721 specific endowments and 189 trusts ~ and how well they are run is known to everybody ! pathetic !!

Tamil Nadu Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency of the state of Tamil Nadu as is all over the Nation.  Idol theft cases were investigated by a small team of officials in CB-CID till the year 1980. During the year 1980 there was a sudden increase in thefts of Panchaloga idols. The thefts of such idols from the temples affected the sentiments of the local people. The Government accepted the proposal, constituted Idol Wing CID in 1983 reads its website.    At present Idol Wing CID is headed by DIG-Idol Wing and assisted by one DSP and 5 Inspectors of Police.

Now read this :  [you will read this again and again and more will be anguished !]

Suspended deputy superintendent of police Kader Batcha -- wanted in an idol theft case -- was nabbed from his hideout in Kumbakonam on Wednesday. According to the FIR, Batcha and sub-inspector Subburaj, who were with the idol wing CID of the Tamil Nadu police, seized three ancient idols worth several crores of rupees from two people in 2008 and sold them to idol smuggler Deenadayalan. Deenadayalan shipped the idols to international idol smuggler Subhash Kapoor. Police had earlier arrested Subburaj in connection with the case.

Batcha had been absconding for the last three months. He was produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate court in Kumbakonam and lodged in the Trichy Central Prison. A senior police officer said, "We will take him into custody for 10 days to know more about the theft."

Batcha's arrest comes days after inspector-general of police A G Pon Manickavel has been given full charge of the idol wing CID.

An administrative body that does not even know of the thefts of idols that people worship and a law enforcing body of whose high officials are involved in the theft ~ and a State that keeps watching Bigg Boss and other cinema related things, spending time on debating on every issue, speaking against the Govt.

Certainly does not augur well !!! – Sad is the state of affairs.  கருப்பண்ண சாமிதான் காப்பாற்ற வேண்டும் !! 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

விநாயக சதுர்த்தி கொண்டாட்டங்கள்

Tomorrow 25th  Aug 2017  is Ganesh Chaturthi…. Vinayaka Chathurthi would be grandly celebrated in Tamilnadu as also in the rest of the country with gay and gaiety.  Lord Ganesha is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

On Vinayaka Chathurthi eve, evening a bunch of sprightly youngsters organised a grand procession taking big Vinayaka statues to be installed for Pooja at Ponnappa Mudali Street…………

Hail the Lord Ganesha  ~ Jai Jai Jaiganesha !!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

CID of State registers case against HR&CE officials for theft of idols from Temple

தீவு திடலில் நடக்கும் 'சுற்றுலா வர்த்தக பொருட்காட்சிக்கு' சென்று இருப்பீர்கள்.  அங்கே உள்ள பல ஸ்டால்ல்களில் பொது மக்களை கவர்ந்து இழுப்பது 'இந்து அறநிலையத்துறை' அரங்கம். 

கோவில்களை பராமரிக்க என அறங்காவலர்களை நீக்கி அரசாங்கத்தால் உருகாக்கப்பட்டது இந்த 'இந்து அறநிலையத்துறை'  ~ இதனுடைய முக்கிய நோக்கமே சில தனி மனிதர்கள் தங்கள் வசம் கோவில்களை கொள்ளாமல், திருகோவில்தனது  சொத்துக்களை பராமரித்து பரிமளிக்க செய்வதே !

அப்படி எனின் திருக்கோவில்களில் வரும் வருமானத்தை அரசு எப்படி தனதாக்கி கொள்ளலாம் ?  அறநிலையத்துறை அதிகாரிகள்  கார் வாங்கி பவனி வருபவதற்கா - புனித வள்ளல்கள் அறக்கொடைகளை உருவாக்கினார் ?  பொது மக்கள் இவர்களுக்காவகா உண்டியலில் காணிக்கை செலுத்துகின்றனர். ??  ~  திருக்கோவில்களில் இருந்து வாகனங்களையும், பெருமாளது உடைமைகளையும் வேறு இடத்திற்கு கொண்டு வந்து காட்சி பொருளுக்குவதற்க்கு இவர்களுக்கு உரிமை அளித்தது யார் ?  - மனம் வலிக்கிறது - இதில் அற நிலையத்துறை அதிகாரிகளே சிலை திருட்டிலும் பங்கு உள்ளவர்களாம் !! 

ஐயகோ !  இது என்ன வேதனை !!!!

The management and control of the temples and the administration of their endowments is one of the primary responsibilities of the State !!! says its website. [If so, does it handle the administration of places of other worship ?] A number of measures have been undertaken prior to the year 1925 for efficient control and supervision of the administration of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments says the website of HRCE

In the Act 1 of 1925, the Government constituted " Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board" consisting of a President and two to four Commissioners nominated by the Government to function as a statutory body. Subsequently, Act 1 of 1925 was repealed by the Act 2 of 1927, which was followed by several modifications up to the year 1951. 

If the function is to administer a Temple, how can the funds of the temple be diverted to various other activities which have no relation to religion or that temple at all ? – Temples as great places of worship were built by philanthropists, Kings and subjects to eulogise Hinduism and Gods – now in the garb of HRCE – the revenue goes to the exchequer, revealing in the form of SUVs for officials and temple lands gets donated.  Who gives the right to authorities to remove the Vahanams and other paraphernelias of temple and keep them on exhibition elsewhere !! ~ but all these would pale when you read of complicity in idol theft .. .. no simple words of ordinary baktha – but reported in the mainline press including The Hindu and Times of India :

one’s heart would bleed !!!

According to the complainant – R. Venkatraman of K.K. Nagar in Chennai  [யார் இவரோ ?  இவர் நீடுழி வாழ்க !!] – five idols of Vinayakar, Pushpakarani, Valli, Theivanai and Chandrasekar Amman, which were with Sri Viswanathaswamy Thirukkoil at Keezhmanakkudi and the Vinayakar idol of Sri IdumbeswararThirukkoil at Srirangarajapuram were found to have gone missing in 2013.

“Though officials knew that the idols were missing, they deliberately didn’t disclose it. No complaint was lodged with the police,” the complainant alleged.

The idol wing CID of the state police has registered a case against 11 people, including seven Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department officials, in connection with the theft of six panchaloha idols from two temples in Thanjavur district, including Pasupatheeshwarar temple at Pandanallur near ThiruvidaiMarudhur. The priceless idols date back nearly 1,500 years, said sources, adding that this was the first time HR&CE officials have been booked in an idol theft case.

The Madras high court recently re-appointed inspector general of police A G PonManickavel as investigation officer in idol theft cases handled by the idol wing CID in spite of his being transferred as IGP, railways. Pon Manickavel, who now holds additional charge as investigation officer in the idol wing CID, and his team swung into action and managed to identify idol smugglers and those who helped them stealing the idols from the Pasupatheeshwarar temple, and Idumbeshwarar temple at ShriRangarajapuram, in Thanjavur district.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that HR&CE officials failed to bring the missing of the idols, said to be worth several crores of rupees, to the notice of their higher-ups. Inquiries revealed that K Kamaraj, executive officer of Arulmigu Shree Pasupatheeshwarar Temple in Pandanallur, noticed that idols of Vinayagar, Pushpakarani, Valli, Deivayani, Chandrasekar Amman of the Pandanallur temple, and a Vinayagar idol of Idumbeshwarar temple were missing in 2013. However, he failed to report this to his senior officers and gave a clean chit to the then HR&CE commissioner.
As the officer didn't even lodge a complaint at the local police station, he has been deemed to have been deeply involved in the case. In a report submitted before the Madras high court, the idol wing CID police officers said that they registered a case against 11 CE officials, including Gajendran, joint commissioner of HR&CE in Mayiladuthurai, Gnanasekaran, assistant commissioner of HR&CE in Kumbakonam, K Kamaraj, executive officer of Pasupatheeshwarar temple, K Raja, head clerk of the Pasupatheeshwarar temple, Sekar Gurukkal and JagatheeshGurukkal, and a temple employee, apart from the trustees of the Pasupatheeshwarar temple PasupathiPillai, ManoharPillai, Ramachandran and Saravanan.

Based on the complaint of R Venkataraman, 62, a resident of K K Nagar, the idol wing CID registered a case under the IPC Sections 457 (2) (trespass), 380 (2) (theft) and 202 (Intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform). The idol wing team has started investigating into the missing of the stolen idols.

Tightening the screw on the Tamil Nadu idol wing police who are in a spot after reports of cops selling ancient panchaloka idols worth several crores of rupees emerged, the Madras high court on Thursday asked the wing's inspector-general why the erring officials had not yet been arrested. Kader Batcha, a deputy superintendent of police with the wing, who has been named as kingpin in the illegal sale of seized panchaloka idols is absconding while a sub-inspector of police, Subburaj, has already been arrested.

The present proceedings related to a public interest litigation filed by advocate Elephant G Rajendran seeking transfer of the case to a neutral agency for an effective and impartial probe.

Sad, indeed !!  ~  ~  :::::::::::: தெய்வம் தான் இவர்களை தண்டிக்க வேண்டும்.